Don Bishop, associate vice president for undergraduate enrollment at the University of Notre Dame, has announced that he will retire on June 30. The search for his successor will begin in the coming weeks.
As associate vice president for undergraduate enrollment, Bishop leads Notre Dame’s Enrollment Division. Its mission is to build and deepen relationships with students through thoughtful and intentional interactions that lead to enrolling scholars who value a Catholic-centered education. The division houses several units that serve students from the beginning of their college search to their final year on campus — including the Offices of Pre-College Programs, Undergraduate Admissions, Financial Aid and Student Accounts.
Bishop was appointed to his current position in 2010. Since that time, the Enrollment Division has seen a substantial increase in the number of applicants to the University, including a significant increase in the nation’s most academically talented high school students. Bishop led the implementation of an admissions selection model that reduces the reliance on test scores in favor of intellectual depth and motivation, creativity, entrepreneurial attributes, leadership, character and mission alignment.
Under Bishop’s leadership, the University’s first-year class enrolled more U.S. students of color, international students, first-generation students and students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds than ever before. At the same time, he has maintained an unwavering focus on ensuring the University stays true to its Catholic character, with 80 percent of first-year students reporting that they identify as Catholic and more than 80 percent of students participating in service or service learning before they graduate.
“In charting the vision and strategy for the Enrollment Division, Don has been a wonderful ambassador for the University of Notre Dame,” said Marie Lynn Miranda, the Charles and Jill Fischer Provost. “He has worked tirelessly to ensure that we attract and enroll students who will take full advantage of the programs, services and partnerships a Notre Dame education affords, while also contributing to our campus community, and ultimately to society as a whole.”
Notre Dame is one of fewer than 60 schools in the nation that meet 100 percent of a student’s financial need. Bishop has been a central figure in ensuring that Notre Dame delivers on this commitment, overseeing an 87 percent increase in the University’s need-based budget during the past 11 years — from $98 million to $183 million. More than two out of three undergraduates have received some form of financial aid for the 2021-22 academic year, with incoming first-year students receiving a median need-based scholarship of $50,000.
A founding member of the Enrollment Planning Network, Bishop started his career in Notre Dame’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions. During his first stint at the University, he launched the University’s first comprehensive marketing research activity for admissions and financial aid. He also redesigned the admissions selection system.
He rejoined the University of Notre Dame in 2010 after serving as the associate vice president for enrollment management at Creighton University, helping it reach historic highs in first-year enrollment while doubling the number of students from underrepresented groups. Prior to that, Bishop oversaw enrollment management at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, the world’s leading school in the field, and Ohio Wesleyan University.
“I have always taken pride that I was the first undergraduate ever hired directly upon graduation to be an admissions officer for Notre Dame,” said Bishop. “The University has grown in so many dynamic ways over the past 45 years. The enrollment team is a dedicated and talented group, and I am grateful for their continuing dedication. I have also deeply appreciated and benefited from the encouragement and support I receive from the leadership of the University and Trustees. There is so much more Notre Dame can do in both admissions and financial aid, and it is going to be exciting to watch our University advance into its next level of prominence and wisdom.”
Miranda has engaged a top national search firm to help support the search strategy and process. Next steps also include engaging key stakeholders for their input regarding the associate vice president role, the division and the University’s needs in this important area going forward.